Lake Villa youth group leader charged with sexual assault - New York News

Lake Villa youth group leader charged with sexually assaulting two girls

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Matthew J. Harder (Photo from Lake County Sheriff's office) Matthew J. Harder (Photo from Lake County Sheriff's office)
LAKE VILLA, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A youth group leader at a north suburban Lake Villa church is charged with having sexual contact with two young girls he drove home from church.

Matthew J. Harder, 18, is a youth worship leader for the Chain of Lakes Community Bible Church, 43 W. Grass Lake Rd. in Lake Villa, Lake County Sheriff's officers said in a release.

Harder, of the 1000 block of Barberry Lane in Round Lake Beach, was arrested Friday and charged with criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, the release said.

The investigation began Jan. 25 after two girls told the church that Harder had sexual contact with each of them while driving them home from church on separate occasions, police claim.

Harder admitted to detectives with the sheriff's office that he had inappropriate sexual contact with both girls, the release said.

He was ordered held on $250,000 bond, and will appear in court Feb. 5, the release said.

Authorities are asking anyone else who may have been a victim or anyone who has information on the case to call police at (847) 549-5200.

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